Spartans’ male captain DANIEL BATES ran an amazing five kilometres (5K) race in Riga, Latvia. Running in snow and a temperature of minus 15 degrees he was second in 21 minutes 32 seconds despite saying that his muscles never did warm up.
Last 10K in 2015
The last 10K of 2015 was the perfect way to see out the year. The weather was very mild but it was also windy on the very exposed course for the Ely New Year’s Eve race.
Spartan SAMANTHA PRETTY set a new personal best of 40 minutes 39 seconds and was in the top 10% of the field at 49th overall out of the 566 finishers, men and women. She was fourth woman. MARK CHEADLE set a season’s best of 50:05 (225th); ROGER BIGGS finished in 55:50 and PAUL HOLGATE in 62:31.
First 10K in 2016
After 2K JIM BROWN thought he might grind to a near halt soon after 5K but then thought let’s try for sub 50. He did it with 49 minutes 21 seconds and 219th out of the 518 finishers. That was eight seconds faster than the same event a year earlier. It was chilly (compared with December) but dry. Everyone enjoyed an interesting route in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens which started by Winter Wonderland and finished by the Serpentine.
New Year Indoors
Tessa and Dave Stephenson started their competition year at the New Year’s Day Open Meeting at Lee Valley Athletics Centre’s indoor track. Taking the chance to do an unusual distance, they were both graded to be in the same heat of the 300 metres. Dave was third place in 46.61 seconds and Tessa sixth in 54.69 seconds.
They then moved onto the Shot Putt with all age groups throwing together, Tessa achieving 8.23 metres and Dave 7.23 metres.
Parkrun Report – New Year’s Day
A large crowd of Spartans celebrated the New Year parkrunning across the country, many taking the once-a-year opportunity to do the double, or “10k before breakfast” as Tim Robinson labelled it.
At Panshanger Park, the first Spartan finisher was STEVE GREEN (12th in 19:46, new course PB), followed by recently-returned TODD GRAY, 27th in 21:10. TIM SABAN (36th, 22:06), TOM SAUKA (39th, 22:11) and JAMES KILROY (59th, 23:52) rounded out the Spartans’ first five.
Other Spartans in action at the Hertford course were KEN JUDE (75th, 24:47 running his 50th parkrun), TIM ROBINSON (105th, 27:36), OLWEN BATTY (113th, 28:46), KAREN PALMER (122nd, 30:09, course PB), ANN TRYSSESOONE taking it easy for her parkrun debut after her massive effort at Buntingford was 123rd in 30:09, VIKKI MEREDITH also running her first parkrun was 158th in 33:49 and ISABEL GREEN was 179th in 39:37.
They were also joined by some of the next generation of Spartans, GEORGINA GREEN (175th, 37:14) and DANIEL GREEN (178th, 38:54) both making their parkrun debuts in the junior (JW10 and JM10 respectively) categories. Finally, three new Spartans also took part: LESLEY JEIVE (134th, 30:57), CAROLINE CROFT (136th, 31:13), and HEATHER MOLONEY (14th, 32:42).
The majority of the Spartans headed over to St Albans for the double where they were joined by first Spartan finisher MICHAEL BIRONNEAU (5th in an excellent 18:21) and HAYLEY FAULKNER (153rd, 25:03).
Results for those completing the double at St Albans were: TOM SAUKA (59th, 21:54), TIM SABAN (64th, 22:03), JAMES KILROY (97th, 23:20), TIM ROBINSON (114th, 23:51, course PB), KEN JUDE (159th, 25:18), OLWEN BATTY, 207th, 27:28), ANN TRYSSESOONE (214th, 28:02), LESLEY JEIVE (241st, 29:56), KAREN PALMER (245th, 30:03), CAROLINE CROFT (246th, 30:05) and HEATHER MOLONEY (291st, 31:36).
Other Spartans in action on New Year’s Day included ANDREW PATTERSON finishing a comfortable second at Luton Wardown in 17:44; and JOHN NELM completed the double, running first at Dewsbury, 22nd in 22:09, and following up at Nostell Priory where he was 48th in 22:04).
Enigma Winter Trail Marathon
A 7.5 lap marathon run around the edge on Caldecote Lake on the outskirts of Milton Keynes attracted ROGER BIGGS on Saturday. Each lap of the Enigma Winter Trail Marathon hugged the edge of the lake, on a wet miserable morning, made for the hundreds of swan, geese, ducks & various other forms of bird life that frequent the lake. He finished in 5:08:52.
GRANT RAMSAY made his first visit to Luton Wardown parkrun and was satisfied with his effort, finishing second in a time of 17:32, after logging heavy mileage over the festive period.
At a muddy Panshanger, ANDY JAY was first Spartan finisher, crossing the line 94th of 236 runners in a time of 27:50, with JENNY GARRETT making her parkrun debut finishing 160th in 33:08 and NICK WITCOMBE 161st in 33:10.
Further afield, EMMA POULTER ran at Cleethorpes in her first ever parkrun, finishing 106th of the 117 participants in a time of 36:11, while RICHARD KENNEDY and NICOLA HABERLAND were in action at the Holkham parkrun. Richard finished 22nd of 124 runners in 22:49 and Nicola finished 39th in 24:17, both obtaining new course PBs.
County Championships in Stevenage this Sunday
The Hertfordshire County Cross Country Championships will be in Fairlands Valley Park this Sunday, 10th January. There will be particular Spartan interest in the senior women’s race over 8 kilometres (two laps) at 1230 and the men’s race over 12 kilometres (three laps) at 1315. (Senior means 21 years and over). Much of the action will be around the lakes. Come and support our local runners.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- County Cross Country Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 10th January 2016.
- Fourth cross country league race in Watford on Sunday 17th January.
- Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st January.
- Fred Hughes 10 including the County Ten Mile Championships for Veterans on Sunday 24th January.
- Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 29th January.
- South of England Cross Country Championships in London on Saturday 30th January.
- Watford Half Marathon including the County Championships for Veterans on Sunday 7th February.
- Fifth and final cross country league race on Therfield Heath on Sunday 14th February.
- County Veterans Cross Country Championships on Sunday 13th March (probably Watford).
- Finchley 20 on Sunday 13th March.
- Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 25th March.
- County 20 Miles Championships at Oakley on Sunday 3rd April.
- Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
- Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
Join The Spartans
Live in or near Stevenage? Like running? Fairlands Valley Spartans is your local running club and is on the up! The club was voted the UK’s Best Running Club in 2010. It now has hundreds of members and encourages participation by all. The Spartans have a varied training programme to suit those who want to run 5 kilometres through to full marathons.
The Spartans weekday training sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Go along to the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) at 7p.m. Up to five running groups go out on training nights – there will be one to suit you!
The Spartan Starter group starts from Marriotts at 7.30p.m. every Monday (except public holidays) and 7p.m. every Thursday.
Most long Sunday morning training sessions start 9a.m. sharp. Spartan track training sessions are held at Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road, Stevenage most Saturdays from 9.15a.m. There are events to enter every Sunday. Newcomers are very welcome – those who have not yet done very much running might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.
Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £37 per year, £25 without UKA affiliation. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website www.fvspartans.org.uk Please ask if you would like a paper copy. You can also join online.
If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website www.fvspartans.org.uk